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Press Release

Central Illinois Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Attempted Arson of Clinic

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Central District of Illinois

URBANA, Ill. – A Prophetstown, Illinois, man, Philip J. Buyno, 73, was sentenced today to five years of imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for attempting to use fire to damage a building used in interstate commerce. United States District Judge Colin S. Bruce also ordered that Buyno pay $327,547.14 in restitution.

Buyno had previously pleaded guilty, admitting that, on May 20, 2023, he brought several containers filled with gasoline with him and used his car to breach the front entrance to a commercial building at 600 N. Logan Avenue in Danville, Illinois, for the purpose of burning it down before it could be used as a reproductive health clinic. Danville police officers responded to an alarm at the building around 4:30 a.m. early on a Saturday morning. They found Buyno stuck inside a maroon Volkswagen Passat that he had backed into the entrance of the building, which was being renovated for use as a reproductive health clinic. A search of the car by FBI agents found bottles containing gasoline, a hatchet, road flares, multiple old tires, and a pack of matches. Agents also found that Buyno had fortified the trunk of the Passat with 4x4 wooden beams.

Buyno was arrested on May 20, 2023, and has remained in official custody since that time.

Buyno faced statutory penalties of a minimum five years up to twenty years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, three years of supervised release, and restitution for the damage caused to the building.

“Our office strongly condemns the defendant’s attempt to prevent women in our community from accessing important reproductive health services,” said U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois Gregory K. Harris. “We are committed to prosecuting such crimes and thank our federal and local law enforcement officers for their critical work in pursuing this case.”

“The FBI will always protect First Amendment rights, but when someone crosses the line from expressing beliefs to violating federal law, we will work to hold them accountable,” said FBI Springfield Field Office Special Agent in Charge David Nanz. “It is important to remember to immediately report suspicious behavior or threats of violence by calling FBI Springfield at 217-522-9675.”

The charges are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Springfield Field Office, and the Danville Police Department. Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Eugene L. Miller represented the government in the prosecution.

Updated February 5, 2024

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